Gaslighting in the NHS is the use of manipulation to make a User of the Service doubt their ability to understand facts and interpret their symptoms.
Gaslighting uses the unequal power in the relationship between the NHS & the Service User. To silence a Service Users questions over a treatment decision or Complaint conclusion.
It often takes the form of explaining why what he or she remembers, thinks, and feels is wrong. This is based on assumption/s and refusing to listen to the objective, verifiable facts. Of the Service User.
This is accomplished with the use of:
• and lying.
• blame & shame
• and more false claims (misdirection),
• sowing doubt and confusion.
Classic Gaslighting lines are
o ‘That never happened; you did not understand the process.
o “I am the Doctor”
o “None has ever disagreed before?”
Unexpectedly, every now and again. The organisation will treat the Service User to a morsel of kindness or fake sympathy. The temporary cease fire is to reel you in. Making you question your judgement, again. Creating more confusion and fear, when the gaslighting behaviour restarts. Causing a further loss of trust in the Service.
Which forces the Service User to ‘fight or flight’. By defending their position or reputation and or point of view. Or fleeing from the scene. Which allows the NHS, Regulator & Commissioner to twist the relationship. Into one, where they are the victims of the ‘unreasonable’ Service User.